We recently came upon a story that hits very close to home for us and for a lot of families with a special needs family member.

This family which includes Sarah, their sister with Down Syndrome, had many conversations over the years specifically planning for the sad, sometimes scary, but necessary question –  What will happen with Sarah when their parents are gone?

“We thoroughly hashed out the precise details of our plan. We thought through every pitfall we could imagine, evaluated every potential problem, and developed strategies to overcome such obstacles so that Sarah could live a purposeful, impactful life.”

There was only one problem with their perfectly thought out plan –  they never consulted their sister, Sarah, in any of their conversations.

An innocent misstep, but a misstep that had a consequence that they didn’t account for. Sarah asked her family one Sunday morning the exact question they’ve thought out for years – What will happen to her after her parents are gone? Her mother gave her a hug and told her the many options should we have when that day comes. Sarah’s reaction surprised the whole family:

“”Sarah took a moment to process that information. And then, with a sense of relief, but also with tears welling up in her eyes, she said, “Good… because it’s been heavy on my heart for a long time.””

Here is a simple reminder that when trying to plan for the care of a special needs family member, you always want to take their opinions and thoughts into consideration. Let them know that they will be taken care of and openly discuss all of the options available. Moreover, we can all use this as a great example of a deeply caring family that realized a mistake and learned a valuable lesson.

SMILE helps Families in Need

While Sarah has a great support system and a family that can provide care for her in the future when her parents are no longer with them, not every family or person with special needs has this luxury. This is why organizations like ours and many others work so hard to help special needs individuals have a place they can live, resources to utilize, and a support system to ensure that they are not alone.

To read the full article go Here.